As many as 21 people have been arrested in connection with the clashes between Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students who protested against the amended Citizenship Act and police on Sunday, December 15. The police also issued orders to vacate all hostels of the university. The clashes have prompted the administration to postpone the examination and advance the winter holidays. The university is closed till January 5, 2020.
“We have arrested 21 persons in the matter. Named FIR has been lodged against 56 persons and others unidentified,” SSP (Aligarh) Akash Kulhary reported India Today.
Violence erupted at the AMU campus as students gathered at the Babey Sir Syed Gate, raising slogans against the police brutality at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University.
According to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi, in the evening, some students began pelting stones and damaging property, following which the police was directed to use force to bring the situation under control.
However, 21-year-old Shubhra, a Masters in Sociology student at the university, told The Logical Indian, “The students were protesting peacefully near the main University gate when the police barged in and began to fire tear gas.”
“Girls from the Begum Azeez-un-Nisa Hall also started a protest from their hostel premises and were later allowed to go to the university main gate, but they were sent back by the boys at the Medical Colony circle who told them that it is not safe for them to protest in the main area,” she added.
A former student of the university, Hiba Kakul, strongly resented the police crackdown in the university, and said, “The students were unarmed and marching peacefully towards the District Magistrate. Police had no right to barge into the university premises and violently attack them.”
She also added that the university authorities must have been involved in letting the police into the campus because entering the campus without permission is not possible.
“We will not stay silent. They will try to shut down our voices, but we will rise above it. They can keep beating us up, but we will protest against this injustice the government has inflicted upon us,” said former student body president of the university, Mashkoor Usmani.
Usmani also confirmed that the police had stormed into the Morrison Hall boys hostel and burnt down rooms. Boys were taken out of the hostel and then beaten up. Some of them have been taken into custody while around 30 boys are still missing.
While UP Director General of Police OP Singh told media that they have not received reports of any vandalism by the police, there is immense outrage as visuals of police smashing bikes on the streets in Aligarh, firing tear gas shells from the main gate of the campus, have emerged.
Videos also showed police officers injured as students targeted them with stones. A number of students were also wounded.
Also Read: UP: Aligarh Muslim University Students Protest Against Citizenship Bill